Enuff Z’nuff Don’t Cheat When Playing Live
Enuff Z’nuff started as a glam metal band in the ’80s and evolved into a songwriting powerhouse thanks to bassist Chip Z’nuff and singer Donnie Vie. While the songs started as tracks for Enuff Z’nuff, Vie and Z’nuff realized their capabilities as a duo and began branching out and writing for others. Today, the songwriting duo is still at it and working on many projects for all sorts of artists. Just remember: it all started in Chicago with Enuff Z’nuff.
“I’d like to believe that Donnie and I have great songs,” Z’nuff tells Noisecreep via phone from his recording studio. “I think we’ve lasted because we wanted to. We worked hard, never stopped. Kept making records, putting out songs, working with different artists: rock, rap, metal, hip-hop. And we spread our wings a little bit, and I think we’ve shown in the last decade that we’re not one-trick ponies; there’s a lot we can do.”
While many artists admit getting the cold shoulder when branching into a new genre, Z’nuff says that wasn’t the case with him or Vie. “We felt welcomed. [We were working with an artist] singing a very different style of music than we were accustomed. So they weren’t going to bother telling us how to write a song. However, they had suggestions. One guy [that] had great suggestions [was] Clive Davis. He’s a song guy, and we’re going to listen to guys like that. He’s been around for a long time and we respect him beyond belief.”
But what about Z’nuff’s main baby, his namesake band? Z’nuff says the band loves to play live, and he continues to write Enuff Z’nuff material with Vie. He also admits an Enuff Z’nuff concert is a very different experience than a lot of other acts that tour these days. That’s because the band doesn’t use any ‘tricks’ or backing tapes.
“When you go see Enuff Z’nuff in concert, it’s not like seeing Britney Spears or Madonna or Nine Inch Nails or the bands that go really heavy backing tracks or anything,” Z’nuff admits. “It’s not like the Eagles show where there’s 12 guys on stage. It’s just us four singing and playing. So we try to utilize as much as we can and try to get as close to the record as we possibly can without cheating.”
Since ‘cheating’ is a strong word, Z’nuff is quick to admit he isn’t against backing tracks. Instead, he says he’d like the help, but there’s a reason Enuff Z’nuff records are not intentionally layered to the hilt: The band wants to be able to perform them easily, no muss, no fuss.
Continues Z’nuff, “My grandpa used to say, ‘Who cares who drives the bus? Let’s get to the creek!’ So I think to have backing tracks is great. Plus it sounds terrific, everybody’s happy. Go see Justin Bieber, it’s all over the place. There’s tricks backstage, there’s tons of backing stuff going on, it sounds great, kids love it. When they pay for a concert ticket, they want it to sound like they hear it on the radio or have seen it on TV. It’s understandable. There’s other bands like Led Zeppelin, the great older bands that just go out there and they just play. The Rolling Stones … there’s a beauty to that, too.”
Enuff Z’nuff recently released the album ‘Dissonance’ in Japan. An American release is planned.